Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Bridge that Spans the Flood

It was in the early fall when I stopped in a wide spot along the state forest road and saw an unmarked footpath leading toward the nearby stream. Being a curious sort I followed the trail to see where, if anywhere, it might lead.

The trail led to a suspension footbridge across a stream that was about 25 feet wide –

Once upon a time, at a much younger age, I was part of a crew that built a similar but longer bridge on a hiking trail. So, the construction of this particular bridge was of interest. At each end of the bridge “deadmen” had been buried in the ground to anchor the cables –

The cables themselves appear to be aluminum, of the kind used for electric transmission cables. Obviously they’d been in place for quite a while but looked as good as the day they were made –

Two upper cables serve as handrails while a pair of lower cables support the walkway, the upper and lower cables were connected by lengths of conduit –

Those lower cables connect 4”x 4” floor beams –

That support the wooden deck –

The towers that hold the cables are salvaged pressure-treated utility poles –

Bears, being bears, have bitten and clawed each of the utility poles –

The bridge was clearly built with care and skill – my complements to the builders.

Nobody would take the time and effort to build a bridge like this for no reason. Crossing the bridge and continuing on the footpath brought the reason into view – a cabin in the woods, in the old style: small, made from round logs, chinked with cement, with peeled poles for roof rafters and moss on the roof –

There are a number of similar cabins scattered in the forests of northcentral Pennsylvania, at least one of which had been built for a logging camp in the 1880s. Unfortunately, most “log cabins” now being built resemble those being featured on TV rather than the one across the bridge.

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